Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,306 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Undeclared: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 691
  2. Negative: 0 out of 691
691 tv reviews
  1. Despite such bloody activity, it's a long trudge through the desert to the Promised Land.
  2. Rather too slick for its own good.
  3. Whether or not they add up to much, the scenes play well, and there are enough heavy-breathing soap-operatics, random acts of violence and unanswered questions to keep one idly watching.
  4. "The State Within"... is something less than perfect, but if you have a taste for high-level skulduggery and do not mind being totally confused much of the time, it's an enjoyable enough ride — fun, sometimes exciting, basically intelligent, occasionally preposterous.
  5. All their best scenes are with one another and have less to do with whatever case they're contesting than with their shared personal history--the characters are old friends, maybe lovers--and teasingly suggested future. The crimes, by contrast, are not particularly compelling, even when they are sensational, and feel invented merely to let the stars talk.
  6. Larry is getting a little ridiculous... and a little too mean even for Larry. [7 Sep 2007]
    • Los Angeles Times
  7. A very far cry from O’Brien’s lanky swagger or Leno’s self-confident poise and, to be frank, the whole "who, me? host 'The Tonight Show?'" seemed laid on a bit thick in parts.... Once Fallon moved behind the desk, and in front of a truly fabulous wooden miniature of New York, he seemed more comfortable.... After presenting Fallon with his own (red) guitar, [U2] sang an acoustic version of their Oscar-nominated “Ordinary Love,” which sounded, as so few late-night performances do, just fabulous. And that is where Fallon will make his mark on the show.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Sounds funny, and it is. In a style reminiscent of "South Park" and "Beavis and Butt-head," but not nearly as crude, Clone High mixes pop culture and historical references with some crassness. The problem is that the first episode, which focuses on crushes and beer, doesn't quite live up to the obvious comedic potential behind the killer premise. [20 Jan 2003, p.C24]
    • Los Angeles Times
  8. If you're in the mood for some outer space, I wouldn't warn you away. Livingston and Harris work well together, and though it's too soon to know whether this will go anywhere interesting, it's also too soon to say it won't. I do wonder what's coming.
  9. It's corny, ponderous, literary, ambitious, obvious and, at the beginning at least, as slow as molasses, but continually re-energized by Ian McShane as King Saul, or, as he's known here, King Silas Benjamin
    • 31 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though the voice-over narration could have been more informative, the biggest drawback in the first two episodes was producer Nigel Lythgoe functioning as the Donald Trump of dance by firing dancers right and left. [30 Jul 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Basically it's an amiable sitcom about a family that--sit down if you aren't already--happens to be Latino. [27 Mar 2002, p.C6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  10. From where I sit, it is something of a mixed bag, but it works more than it doesn't, and an impressive, semi-big-name cast helps keep it upright and lends the project an air of prestige--especially in the context of its modest little network.
  11. There's not much suspense here, but the two leads, and the hour's teacup worth of mystery, are just enough to keep this flying saucer aloft.
  12. Creator Kyle Killen and executive producers Amy Lippman and Christopher Keyser (the latter two best known for "Party of Five") are betting that the callow charm of their leading man, shored up by tailor-made roles for Keith and Jon Voight, who plays gimlet-eyed oil tycoon Clint Thatcher, will overcome the ridiculousness of the setup.
  13. For fans of the canon, South Riding is "Masterpiece" comfort food, enjoyable enough in the moment, but melting away to nothing but sugar and fat by morning.
  14. Hirsch is, as usual, wonderful and more than capable of taking Abraham's story line wider and deeper than well-meaning banter and bromides assigned him, but in early episodes the story seems determined to showcase its more predictable aspects.
  15. There are enough interesting ideas inherent in the material to warrant giving The Americans a chance, and interesting enough ideas that one wishes a little more attention were being paid to them, and a little less to the usual spy-jinks.
  16. OK, it's not Chekhov or even "How I Met Your Mother," to which it will inevitably be compared, but it's a lot better than the I'll-do-anything-for-pizza jokes that precede it.
  17. The prologue is well-handled, suspenseful and alarming, but much of what follows seems at least a little bit silly or confused.
  18. There's nothing here you couldn't imagine from the premise, but there's also nothing wrong with what's here: McGraw is a good foil for Grammer, and Grammer is good at what he does.
  19. The cleverest part of the show is that it makes the judges into contestants; they compete against one another for the right to invest in a business, and they haggle with the entrepreneurs over the terms of their investment.
  20. As is the case with pilots, the seams tend to show--the bountiful expository dialogue makes no effort to veil its purpose, and the production is a tad too insistent that we find these scamps charming. But they are fairly charming at that, and though the spy stuff is all unconvincing hokum, the company is easy to bear.
  21. Most of what doesn't work in the pilot happens when the production strives for a big effect or grand stroke, while all of what works best happens in the close space between the leads.
  22. There is much to like and learn from the miniseries. Alas, executive producer Stephen David and his creative team seem intent on getting in their own way, cluttering up the inevitably fascinating narrative (offered here by Jeremy Renner) with all manner of clunky historical reenactments, hyperbolic characterizations and a soundtrack that should be shot for treason.
  23. Painless at worst, and mostly better than that.
  24. Where "The Returned" was content to tell its story in elliptical scenes and character sketches, Resurrection keeps them tightly tied together and bound to an investigative uber-narrative--Marty and Maggie are partners in detection with the requisite possibility of romance. The result is a lot of narrative that often strays too far from the original and much more provocative conceit: Hey, we see dead people.
  25. When Believe tries to be meaningful, it's also at its most obvious, and the show could prove to be too willfully touching for its own good. But it doesn't seem impossible to me that they could get the mix right.
  26. Although the characters are too inconsistent to be entirely believable and often act too inanely to be respected, there are enough nice moments here to lift "The Outsiders" above the ordinary and give it promise.
  27. It's too schematic by half, the banter rarely ascends to the level and wit, and it contains barely a believable moment... but it is not without a certain energy and cast-based charm.
  28. Almost immediately you can tell it's a kind of fantasy camp for "Sports Center" junkies.
  29. Except in the decorative details, it is exactly the same as every other gimme-a-job reality show ever made, with the contestants all banged up in a fancy dormitory from which they disappear one by one after themed weekly challenges.
  30. "Casanova" only gets into trouble when it wants to mean something, and the more pointedly emotional moments seem cooked up to the point of hokum, but it's fun when it wants to be, and most of the time it just wants to be fun.
  31. A more than occasionally funny show in which Gabi (Emily Osment), an appealing but financially challenged food blogger, becomes personal chef to Josh (Jonathan Sadowski), an appealing but romantically challenged tech-ionaire.
  32. Its uniqueness and arresting style don't earn it an unqualified endorsement here, for its first two Fontana-written episodes are absolute downers--there's no light at the end of a tunnel, nor even a tunnel--that offer no central characters to like or pull for...Be forewarned, too, that Oz is flat-out the most violent and graphically sexual series on TV. By contrast, it makes ABC's "NYPD Blue" look and sound like dancing Barney. [12 July 1997, p.F2]
    • Los Angeles Times
  33. It's probably enough to say that if you like this sort of thing, this is just the sort of thing you'll like. (If the tautology fits, wear it.) Rodriguez knows how this machine works as well as anyone alive. Whether such sensationalist kicks are good for us "as a people," or indeed as people in particular, is a question the culture and its guardians and gadflies have been batting around for years. A decision is not due any time soon.
  34. The collective IQ of the cast is noticeably higher than on the "Real Housewives" while the vitriol is lower.
  35. Some of these women are troubled, certainly, but none of them seems like trouble. Indeed, I felt a little sad at times, watching--not as I usually do, for the society that could produce such a program, but for the actual women in it, as far as I could make them out.
  36. [Scott Baio's] naturally relaxed presence mitigates the show's more hectic leanings.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An uneven debut.
  37. "Carnivale" is beautiful to look at, but it drags. ... To watch "Carnivale" is to feel you have purchased a moody Tom Waits concept album, where he's banging on trash can lids and mumbling about Satan into a megaphone. [7 Jan 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
  38. It's a premise that seems more appropriate to a mid-'90s theatrical romantic comedy -- something with Sandra Bullock or Meg Ryan -- than to a TV series, and indeed, given how much transpires in the pilot, you could bang an extra hour of complications and resolutions onto the end and have a spiffy little chick flick.
  39. Pope is a likeable woman, smart and sensible. Although the Difficult Boss is a common feature of Bravo series, by network standards she is egoless as the Buddha. Indeed, as a protector of the almost-born from the fuzzy thinking and distracted inattention of their parents, she is a bastion of perspective.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Only moderately enjoyable.
  40. Steinberg is a polite, solicitous host -- too polite and solicitous.
  41. Despite the frantic and at times clunky initial execution, there are times when The Mob Doctor shows signs of transcending the typical doc-with-something-extra medical procedural.
  42. It's just the same joke endlessly repeated--the everyday translated into geek-speak, and the obscure and difficult treated as if it were common knowledge.... These are perilous times for sitcoms, and Lorre & Co. may want to think up another.
  43. At times it feels enough that the players seem to be enjoying themselves to enjoy it alongside them.
  44. While the performances are first-rate, and the film is never less than enjoyable, it doesn't quite take off.
  45. Perfectly fine and nothing special.
  46. [Gilbert] seems like a real person, even in such a cartoon as this is.
  47. The sets are terrific, as are the costumes, and the rich and saturated moodiness of the production values makes the tepidness of the story all the more disappointing.
  48. If "The Class" feels calculated, unrelated to life outside sitcoms, and encased in amber, it's a competent American product, ultimately, no harder to watch than, say, a Dodge is to drive.
  49. It's a noble goal and one hopes that after viewing School Pride, volunteers spring up, committees form and checks are written. Because to merely watch the show and wallow in its many throat-tightening moments would be to remain a voyeur, and then you're just part of the problem.
  50. There is a story to be made from this, about aspiration and achievement and what goes on in the gap between them, but that is not a story that television, or any other form of American mass culture, particularly likes to tell. Underemployed flirts with it but more often settles for flattering its audience, reflecting not only its hopes but also its resentments.
  51. "Threshold" is a comic book, and passable as such.
  52. Detroit 1-8-7 is, rather than a slice of life, very much a slab of TV. And yet, as currently constituted, the show's only way forward is through the unlikely Fitch; his emotional awkwardness is more interesting than the cases he works.
  53. What Swank doesn't bring is any sort of emotional connection, either to Mary, Mary's son or the audience.... Mercifully, Blethyn eventually joins her on the screen and is, as ever, simple perfection, needing to do little more than utter two words with an anguished squint to break your heart into 50 million pieces. When the two meet up, Mary and Martha begins to transcend the drumbeat of its message.
  54. It is so far minor stuff, inconsistent in tone and not particularly original yet fundamentally sweet and, if not stared at too hard, appealing.
  55. If you can live through the ridiculous hustle-forward, no-looking introduction to the story, what follows is entertaining enough, albeit in a mildly campy way.
  56. In some ways, it is like a placebo, lacking substance, but not ineffective. In others, it is a kind of gaily packaged generic equivalent to some better-known brand.
  57. Between Sherri's grouchy father, adorable son and hapless ex, all the stereotypes seem to be running on full steam. It's a less-than-stellar debut, but a body set in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, and it's hard to imagine the outside force that's going to slow Sherri Shepherd down any time soon.
  58. Unfortunately, so smitten are the creators of John Adams with historical earnestness and pedigree they seem to have forgotten how to tell a good story.
  59. Television, like love, is a matter of chemistry, of which none is yet obvious between the leads here. Will it come? Trevor would tell you that you should know it in an instant, while Claire would reserve judgment; they're both right, of course, some of the time.
  60. This split-personality series that speaks with two voices: one thoughtful and intelligent, the louder one glib and derivative. [29 Sept 1999, p.F6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  61. Although we are meant to regard its dishonest protagonists as the epitome of contemporary cool, they come off as self-satisfied and pretentious.
  62. With a shorter to-do list and more ruthless editing--far too much time is spent in close-ups on the hosts--Showville could be as good in fact as it is in theory.
  63. Crude stuff for a family newspaper, but despite the warm-and-fuzzy-celebrity cred that star Courteney Cox brings to it, some funny lines and good acting all around, Cougar Town is a crude show, built on jokes about oral sex and droopy breasts, a show in which words like "coochie" are used with regrettable abandon.
  64. It's not all bad, but nothing in it argues that it needed to be made other than to give the people who made it something to do. It's a mediocre misfire in which the odd good parts beg for a better home.
  65. What viewers are left with, then, are some excellent fight and chase scenes, an outstanding supporting cast (who, alas, only highlight the main character's deficiencies) and a lot of truly beautiful location work. It may be enough, but it could, and should, have been so much more.
  66. Here it feels as if Sorkin has chosen an outdated media milieu for his secular humanist dramaturgy. His first TV series, "Sports Night," was ahead of the times, but "Studio 60" is behind them.
  67. It's a decent enough show, a soap opera essentially, playing around with heavy themes and life-changing events but lightweight enough not to make you think too hard or keep you glued to the television when you decide you want something from the refrigerator — the TV equivalent of a beach book.
  68. There are more than a few problems here.
  69. Though DaCosta and Escarpeta each creates a sympathetic character--at times, the picture feels meant to make you forget you ever saw "Being Bobby Brown"--they lack chemistry. For all the script insists otherwise, their love, and thus the film about it, feels something less than necessary.
  70. I, the Jury, am still out on this one; it could go either way from here.
  71. It's clear that Wells has nothing but respect for the original material; if only he felt the same for American viewers. Unfortunately, [executive producer John Wells] seems to have bought into the notion that Americans need everything to be bigger, louder, messier and drawn in primary colors.
  72. It is, by turns, hilarious and histrionic, illuminating and infuriating.
  73. Camp Rock isn't particularly good, but it's good at what it does. The product may be "inauthentic," if such a thing is even possible, but the way it will connect with a lot of little girls and more than a few little boys is real enough.
  74. The pilot half aims for the exaggerated, other-worldly tone of "Arrested Development" and misses.... The second episode, by contrast, has a healthy dose of the ordinary mixed in and is actually about something: the invisibility of the working class.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Work of Art, which isn't as much bad as merely dull. Bad we could love; dull just sends us wandering off to the fridge, where inner essence consists of leftover meat loaf.
  75. Unfortunately, though Wilson remains gorgeously fearless in her willingness to go all in, neither the network nor Wilson (she is an executive producer) know quite what to do with that.
  76. Hewitt is quite good, or as good as the show allows; there are some potholes along the way, as the script sacrifices sense to sentiment.
  77. Where once Nip/Tuck crackled, it now whines and sighs; where once it shocked, it now plays nice.
  78. Equal parts stupid and sweet, The Goodwin Games does not appear to be built for the long haul.
  79. It's hard to tell from the premiere precisely what Latifah is going for here, besides the truly fabulous set that was, apparently, designed by Lenny Kravitz.
  80. The best thing Criminal Intent did was dump its low-brow, lower-IQ pilot. What remains, though, is routine at best, the violent master criminal planning a million-dollar diamond heist in the premiere naturally proving no match for the brilliant, X-ray-sighted Goren.
  81. The Guardian, despite having some promise, wears prominently on its forehead the scarlet "P" of predictability. You can be fairly certain that not only will Fallin make this difficult situation work, but that he'll be a better man for it. [25 Sept 2001, p.C2]
    • Los Angeles Times
  82. While its cynicism about suburbia is superficially novel, the show itself is quite old-fashioned if not old hat: lame dad, smart mom, cute child, knowing child, strange neighbor. Door here, door there, couch in the middle.
  83. It's "House of Cards," with a werewolf/vampire hybrid instead of a charming but ruthless Southern senator.
  84. Apart from Underwood, who has class-A TV-star appeal, the show is nothing special. No worse than or much different from your average character-driven cop show.
  85. Ryan prompts the patrons to talk, but the stories don't really develop into much; and although the arms-buying demographic is indeed wider than one who has not spent much time in a gun store might imagine, their reasons for buying tend to be variations on the same few themes: I was robbed; I don't want to be robbed; guns are fun to collect and shoot.
  86. It tries very hard not to take the expected path. Too hard, unfortunately. So determined are Hunt, executive producer/showrunner Jenny Bicks and Linney that The Big C be unsentimental that they jam early episodes with so many over-blown characters and wacky antics that it's impossible to attach meaning to any of them.
  87. Certainly Olbermann is refreshing, and singular, in the clarity of his mission, which is to defend the liberal point of view with the same sort of take-no-prisoners rhetoric that conservative pundits like Bill O'Reilly have wielded so effectively. But the blatant uber-medianess of his persona seems, at times, in direct conflict with that belief that "the weakest citizen is more important than the strongest corporation."
  88. You begin to feel strung along on an errand whose complexities can't mask the fact that the main character isn't great company.
  89. It's diverting enough while it goes by, even if you can see where the story's going long before it gets there.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The cheese factor is undeniable, but The Bachelor makes a connection with its audience beyond the vicarious thrill. [25 Mar 2002, p.C20]
    • Los Angeles Times
  90. It moves along, dutifully moving the players to their appointed plot points. And there are some nice performances; I would draw your attention to that of Naturi Naughton, as Ghost's wife, consistently a warm body in an often chilly show.
  91. The performances, in and of themselves, range from solid (King's) to inspired (Marshall's)....But taken together, there is both too much and too little going on.
  92. Neither [Hirsch and Granger] offer any insight into what drove the couple, what they actually hoped to achieve, and what kept them going when it became clear that things were not going to end well. And History might have a little soul-searching to do; dramatic license should not mean Make a Huge Number of Important Plot Points Up.
  93. There are many powerful scenes in The White Queen, moments that illustrate time and again how a woman's body was both her greatest tool and her inevitable prison; a man could control his fate by mind or sword, a woman can do it only by proxy. Unfortunately, they are surrounded by the misty, swampy lands of generic medievalness.

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